How Pinecrest Gardens is Listening, Learning and Teaching Equality and Inclusion though Performing Arts

Pinecrest Gardens takes pride in being an organization centered on diversity and inclusion.

Our programs, performances and history shine a light on people of all races and abilities. Each day we strive be forward thinking reflect our community appropriately through our arts and programs. But we know, we can always do better. 

Given the current state of the country, it’s time to take an internal reflection and really delve into us.  Us as an organization, us as a community and us as example setters. 

Pinecrest Gardens isn't just a garden maintained by the city. Look deeper and you'll see that we are a cultural organization operating under a municipality.  As a department of local government, and a cultural arts garden, we have an opportunity to be leaders.  Being a leader in our community means bringing culture, programs, events for ALL, including those who are marginilized, and standing up for those who's voices need to be heard. 

Women, POC and the arts:
It's no surprise that women, especially women of color are marginalized in society. The arts can provide an empowering refuge for people of all races and abilities.  While the arts are a creative outlet, there are still corners of art where women and people of color are experiencing inequities. In a study conducted by Americans for the Arts, it was found that 78% of those employed by arts organizations identified as white or Caucasian. Black make up only 6%, while 7% identified as Latin American or Hispanic, and 4% identified as "multicultural". Based these numbers, the fact is that the arts industry is not accurately representing people of color in arts management, or our very diverse society. Additionally, women are 6% less likely than men to hold a top or leading position in local arts agencies. We see this, and we know it has to change. This data was captured from the study “An exploratory Study of Demographic Diversity in the Arts Management Workforce: here

In an effort to recognize these realities, and work towards a better future, Pinecrest Gardens introduces the She Jazz Project. Today, this platform is highlighting one of our newest programs at Pinecrest Gardens, She Jazz.

What is She Jazz? 
 She Jazz, a program created by our director, Alana Perez, aims to continue our efforts in enhancing inclusivity and equality for both our programs and our community. 

This fall is the debut for She Jazz, a project thats been in the works for about a year. With Covid-19 still on our minds and the societal climate today, we understand that while it may be an unusual time to launch a new program, now more than ever, we have to fight for these culturally forward initiatives for the community. 

She Jazz is our way to begin to address the misrepresentation of female and marginalized youth in arts, arts management and specifically, Jazz. It is a South Florida-wide, all-female jazz honors ensemble where up to 35 young musicians, ages 14-20, will study and perform, side-by-side, with renowned female mentor artists. 

The goal:  Create a platform to encourage local, young women to pursue meaningful careers in jazz. She Jazz provides FREE mentorship for all women that apply and are accepted to the program.

Follow the She Jazz Project to support us and your community. The She Jazz Project

Who will be the lead mentor in the She Jazz Project?

She Jazz is proud to work with Terri Lyne Carrington as the project's artistic director and mentor.  Terri Lyne Carrington is a black woman, and a titan in her field of arts as a 3-time Grammy Award-winning jazz drummer, composer, producer, singer, and educator. Terri Lyne Carrington will spearhead the project, and will be working alongside Dr. Lisanne Lyons. Dr. Lyons a force in her own right, is an internationally recognized vocalist and chair of jazz vocal studies at FIU. 
In an interview Q &A after a SAMM performance with artist Mikalene Thomas, Ms. Carrington speaks about her experience as artists and how to she uses her voice to ignite a "need to do something", to address race and black female identity. Partnerships such as these with leading women in arts are inviting to youth and others to identify with these women and people of color in the arts.

 In the interview, Terri says "conversation is important, I feel that conversation around race and sexism and gender issues and so many different things is important between people because people do get uncomfortable, and I think that is what art is supposed to do. It’ s there to make you uncomfortable or to ignite you to have a stand and stand up for whatever you believe in. It’s a call to action.” Watch the partnership performance and Q & A here. 

Additionally, Ms.Carrington has served as the director of Berklee’s institute of Jazz and Gender Justice, a program founded in 2018 to address the history of sexual harassment and gender-based inequities within the Jazz scene.
 Learn more about Terri Lyne Carrington here

Terri Lyne Carrington

What are the primary activities of She Jazz?
Working with these female arts professionals, students will learn excellence through weekly coaching and rehearsals including full, sectionals and ensembles.  Students will perform in al all female big band, compose their own music with the opportunity to premier their new works.  The female participants will perform 2-3 times each season at Pinecrest Gardens, as well as participate in smaller performances in community settings.
Aside from the musical training aspects of the program, She Jazz works to provide opportunities for young women in the arts. They will attend lectures, demos, coaching by visiting artist and notable women in arts. They will also have the potential to exchange activities and network with Berklee’s Global Jazz Institute. Students will receive assistance with scholarship, research and cultivation among involved institutions and future partners. It’s more than music, it's opportunity. 
Dr. Lisanne Lyons

Why this matters: 
Above the programing side of She Jazz, the real mission is to support and encourage girls as they navigate through performing arts and arts management specifically inspired by Jazz. Girls need to see other women performing and succeeding, especially women who look like them. 

As all students are taught music history, they learn about many famous musicians, and a lot of them are male, but there is very little focus on female musicians and even further, female instrumentalists. For example, can you name a female instrumentalist of the top of your head? Sure, maybe a female singer comes to mind….but what about a female drummer or bass player? We want to change that. 
Pinecrest Gardens is committed to bringing programs that shine a light on those dark corners of inequality. We want to be the leaders, and do the best we can for our audience to accurately represent our local community and audience, which by the way includes all BIPOC. Identifying is only the first step, but programs such as She Jazz are a leap in the right direction to acknowledge the need for better opportunities and equality for all people.  We hope this program will pave the way for future female musicians and artists of all colors, shapes, sizes and talent.  It takes a Village!

Follow the She Jazz Project to support us and your community. The She Jazz Project
For more on ways to support multicultural business and arts organizations in South Florida, visit this list of resources put together by the Cultural Crusaders of Prism Group: Here


  1. What an amazing opportunity for disrupting a male dominated genre. Hope the She Jazz Project receives the attention and participation it deserves.


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